Snippets from Sumatra

In my final post about Sumatra I decided to include all the photos, which I thought were interesting or close to my heart for some reason.  They are random and don’t belong to any previous stories.

 

There are typical hotels/homes along the main street in Bukit Lawang. Everything is clean and well-maintained. And this is pretty much understandable as this is a tourist area.  I, being me, wanted to have a look at the places where the locals live…They were not so pretty, but still decent.

My guest house “Sam’s Bungalow”  looked pretty much the same like these buildings and I had the best room at the very top.

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When I walked into my room the first impression was WOW! Just look at the colourful mosquito net.

(Here is a secret: I only realised that this beautiful canopy was a net on my last day there. I thought it was just for looks).

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The balcony was totally great. I also had a hammock, which is missing from this photo. But it was provided in case I wanted to lie down.

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My AMAZING bathroom. It had only half a roof and a huge live plant. But because of the open roof the staff told me to keep the door closed at all times as monkeys could pay an unexpected visit.

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It was quite an experience to have a shower at night and see the stars in the sky.

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And of course there was a bucket. Not just a bucket, it was a double-sized bucket.

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The views from my balcony were fantastic. There is only one more room like mine at the very top.

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And right in front there was the river and the jungle. I spent my all free time on the balcony (when I was not socialising with other tourists, eating fruit salads, fighting with monkeys, walking in the village, eating ice cream and so on).

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Guys at the restaurant told me that a few days before there were two orangutans on the jungle side and people could watch them from the rooms. I was not so lucky. I had to get off my chair and track them.

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Indonesia is a very civilised country – they have toilets everywhere. This cute sign I found about 200m from the guest house on the main street.

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Despite permanent heat and insane humidity the local youth were playing football. Lots of spectators were around. One of them told me that this is a usual pass-time for boys and young men. Keeps them busy and out of trouble!

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The river, which flows through Bukit Lawang is very popular with local people. There were lots of people coming as far as Medan (4-5 hours drive). They come for the weekend or public holidays. Those shacks with roofs from banana leaves are sun shelters for visitors.

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At this place the current is quite strong, but it doesn’t stop anyone.

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Lots and lots of flowers. This one is a hibiscus. Great colour. Hibiscus is  used for tea (flavour), fruit salads and cocktails (decorations).

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Some of the Indonesian tropical plants we could buy for lots of money in the pots in Australia. In Bukit Lawang they were growing everywhere. The white one with a red dots is called the Bleeding Heart plant  (just for your information).

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This one can cost hundreds of dollars depending on size. Stinks of dead meat, being pollinated by flies. It’s called Dead Horse Flower or Corpse Flower. Sounds very romantic, right? Very hard to get in Australia, but right in front of my door in Bukit Lawang.

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And this little pineapple is a fruit of the bromelliad plant. We found it in the jungle.

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How cute is this little “lantern”. I think it’s one of the orchids, but this is just a gut feeling. I wish I could bring it home.

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Not sure what this flower is, but I can buy it here at nurseries.

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This one is similar to the previous plant. Both are available, but have to be kept inside during cold weather.

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Looking at this photo you can see that the flowers grow directly from the trunk, not off the branches like for other trees.  Pretty cool!

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Our guide showed us the Needle Flower. From the look it’s a very pretty bush with abundance of small orange flowers. bright and cheerful. However, there is a nasty surprise inside – a very long and sharp needle. This is probably a reason why this bush is basically intact.

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I just could not resist taking this photo. This is a seed from one of the trees. It was lying on the decaying trunk of another tree. All covered in droplets of water, it symbolises the circle of life for me.

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Three different colours of fern – each prettier than the other.

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According to our guide this is a home for a colony of tiny sweat bees. They are quite harmless.  Most species nest in the ground, but some nest in wood. We saw many nests, but many of them were broken by monkeys, who tried to get to the honey. This nest was brand new and in perfect condition.

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My porter Dani brought me a present. This is some sort of jungle cricket.

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Unfortunately, due to the great success of palm oil in the world, the jungles in Indonesia are being cleared out to make room for palm plantations. This is how it look in ten years after removing jungles. But it also means that all the original plants, animals and birds are either dead or have to move territory. There are fewer and fewer jungles left. Something has to be done NOW. It could be too late too soon.

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This is how clearing looks in progress.

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This interesting container is water storage.

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Domes for the mosques can be bought on the roadside.

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One of the many.

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I have never seen anything like this before. Along the main roads there were lots of display boards with messages made from flowers.

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My guide said that anybody could order any message. It’s basically like a celebration card. For example, if its a birthday, or a wedding, or even a promotion,  a similar board will be in front of the house. (In Australia we usually send a card and a bunch of flowers. In Sumatra its a Flower board with good wishes.  Same thing – different scale. Ha-ha!).

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And this is it. With love from Sumatra!

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Music: cublak cublak suweng-indonesian instrumental music/jawa island

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